Statement by Tim Jones following the verdicts on 29 November 2001
I would like to say, having heard the judge’s summing up, that I thought it was severely unbalanced. He paid far more attention to the prosecution side, he made several inaccurate remarks, he said that some of Mr Stallard’s evidence torpedoed the prosecution case, which it did not at all, that’s a seriously biased thing to say anyway, trying to direct the jury to reach a not guilty verdict.
There were several times he emphasised defence points, making comments taken from the defence speech and saying ‘you may consider that to be particularly important or relevant’. He hardly ever did any such thing for the prosecution case.
I’m also angry that the judge devoted so much time to praising Martell, going on about what a great character he was. Martell who, from the witness stand, said he would willingly send one of his own sons or his own daughter to work in the same conditions that killled my brother – is that his idea of a good character? He said that because Martell had no previous convictions, that he was unlikely to offend again, and that because he had no previous convictions, that made him a good character.
Harold Shipman had no previous convictions before he was caught. Osama bin Laden’s has never been convicted. By that reasoning,the judge must think that Osama Bin Laden’s a good character.
I must add that we are very grateful to all the people that helped us, our legal team, the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign, Sussex Police a few helpful individuals in the HSE. I’m sure they share our disappointment that three and a half years it’s taken us to get this far and it comes to this – that the judge has decided that Simon’s life was only worth £50,000.
It’s outrageous that though usually if you kill someone, you’ll go to prison for it, if you do it at work or on the roads, you’ll just get a little fine and that’s the end of it.
We’re hoping that, as we’ve managed to get this case to trial, which is further than a lot of cases of deaths at work go that hopefully there will be more attempts at prosecution and we also hope to see the law improved to make it easier to prosecute.
I think there are also sufficient grounds for prosecuting Personnel Selection because obviously they had a part in sending him to an unsuitable and dangerous job for which he had no relevant training.